Trade Mission will see international collaboration between the Midlands and the USA
Greater collaboration and trade opportunities will be the focus of an international trade mission taking place later this month.
The City of Mentor, in Northeast Ohio, will host a delegation of Midlands life science companies from October 22 to October 24. This will help promote trade and investment between the Midlands and the USA, as part of a strategic collaboration between the two regions.
Northeast Ohio is a rapidly growing centre of innovation in healthcare, medtech and bioscience. They are looking to encourage collaboration with companies and healthcare providers in their area on an international basis. Both the City of Mentor and Medilink Midlands identified similarities and opportunities for closer working and collaboration, which led to a memorandum of understanding being signed in August of this year.
To crystallise the opportunity, an offer to attend a special International Trade Conference was arranged by the City of Mentor, including attending the nearby Cleveland Clinic 2018 Medical Innovation Summit (now in its 17th year).
Medilink Midlands works alongside the Midlands Engine and other strategic alliances to support and promote life sciences across both the East and West Midlands. Three Midlands companies operating within the life sciences sector saw the opportunities created by the Mentor-Midlands trade visit and will be attending alongside Keith Widdowson, Medilink Midlands Director. This is the first official visit of a Medilink Midlands representative to Mentor and is part of the planned activities to forge stronger international ties between the two regions.
The three companies who are attending alongside Keith are:
• Cresco Innovation, which works to help companies to develop and implement innovation strategies. Cresco Innovation secured £18million of funding for European SMEs, in 2017 alone.
• Adamson Jones IP ltd, a dedicated intellectual property filing and prosecution practice, with particular specialisms in the medical device, pharmaceuticals and bioscience fields. Adamson Jones acts for UK and US companies in these fields to provide effective filing and prosecution of European patent applications.
• Uvamed, which supplies the NHS with innovative products, including its trademarked Rainbow Trays. These are colour coded anaesthetic trays for use in operating theatres by anaesthetists, supporting the AAGBI & RCoA colour coded critical care labelling system.
The City of Mentor is part of a cluster of over 700 life science and biomedical companies, including world-leaders such as General Electric, Siemens, Philips, Toshiba, Hitachi, and STERIS. Many of the life science companies in Northeast Ohio have grown up around the Cleveland Clinic, one of the world’s leading hospitals for research, education and health information. Research by the Department for International Trade and the Office for Life Sciences (OLS) shows that the UK has the third largest medical technology sector in Europe and the Midlands has the largest regional medtech cluster in the UK.  
Keith Widdowson, director Medilink Midlands, said: "Medilink Midlands looks forward to encouraging collaboration with Mentor and Northeast Ohio.”
"Northeast Ohio is an attractive location for Midlands companies. It provides a real opportunity for businesses to get a low-cost foothold in the largest life sciences market in the world.
“The products and services provided by Midlands life science companies are in demand regionally, nationally and internationally. By forging relationships and partnerships, Midlands life science businesses can grow their operations and satisfy a global demand for regional excellence. We plan to reciprocate Mentor’s offer of a trade mission and will look to set up an opportunity for medtech companies in Ohio to visit the Midlands next year, coinciding with the Med-Tech Innovation Expo in Birmingham in mid-May.”
Simon Cooper, Managing Director at Adamson Jones IP Ltd., added: "The State of Ohio is an important manufacturing region in the USA. The collaboration opportunities between this and the Midlands - the UK’s leading manufacturing region – cannot be missed."
 HM Government (2016) Strength and Opportunity 2016: The landscape of the medical technology and biopharmaceutical sectors in the UK, pp. 52 https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/635714/strength-and-opportunity-2016-bioscience-technology-accessible-revised.pdf
 UK Trade & Investment and Office for Life Sciences (2016), Strength and Opportunity: the data behind the charts, table at MedTech Regional 1 tab https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/635715/strength-and-opportunity-2016-UK-medical-and-biopharmaceutical-landscape-underlying-data-revised.xlsx